Websafe colour palette

As with printed communications, colour can be used in electronic media to add interest and appeal while staying true to the NHS look and feel.

The NHS web colour palette uses a different specification system to the print colour palette. For example, within the web colour palette, NHS Blue (Pantone® 300) is displayed using the hexadecimal format, HTML 0066CC. The web palette also allows for RGB variations in electronic presentations.

You should only ever use the NHS web colour palette for electronic publishing.

Do not use tints of any of the web palette colours.

NHS web colour palette

NHS colour palette

There are three levels to the NHS web-safe colour palette.


Corporate colours

  • Should form the basis for all NHS website design schemes.
  • As a general rule, backgrounds should be white and text should be black.
  • Navigation areas should be white or NHS blue.


Primary colours

  • Should be used in conjunction with the corporate colours to highlight key pieces of information.
  • Make sure they do not overpower or detract from the corporate colours.


Secondary colours

  • Developed to support and complement the primary colours.
  • Each secondary colour should only be used with the corresponding primary colour.
  • A secondary colour can also be used to break up a page, which may ensure that the primary colours do not become more prominent than the corporate colours.


Using the colour palette

  • Do not combine the colours from the three levels to create new colours - use only the specified colours.
  • Do not use tints of any of the NHS web palette colours.
  • Do not use any of the colours to create textures, patterns or images.

Last updated: 29/04/08